Astronaut Christina Koch, six days after returning from a record 11-month stay aboard the International Space Station, said Wednesday she’s re-adapting to gravity with no major problems, enjoying family life, an initial trip to the beach, playing with her dog “LBD” and a kitchen packed with chips and salsa, a favorite food in short supply aboard the station.
Bill Gerstenmaier, former director of spaceflight at NASA Headquarters and a widely respected aerospace engineer and manager, has taken a consulting position at SpaceX, the California rocket company NASA helped save in 2008 with the award of a $1.6 billion contract to build and launch space station cargo ships.
The Trump administration is requesting $25.2 billion for NASA in fiscal 2021, a 12 percent increase that includes $3.3 billion to kickstart development of a human-rated lander for the Artemis moon program. Nearly half of the budget request, $12.3 billion, is devoted to new and ongoing projects focused on the return to the moon and eventual flights to Mars.
Under a brilliant moon, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket flashed to life and vaulted away from Cape Canaveral late Sunday, boosting the European Space Agency’s $1.5 billion Solar Orbiter probe out of Earth’s gravitational grip toward a multi-year voyage around the sun that will give scientists their first glimpse of the star’s poles.
Two software errors detected after launch of a Boeing Starliner crew ship during an unpiloted test flight last December, one of which prevented a planned docking with the International Space Station, could have led to catastrophic failures had they not been caught and corrected in time, NASA said Friday.
Christina Koch, veteran of six spacewalks outside the International Space Station — including the first all-female excursion — joined a Russian commander and an Italian flight engineer for a fiery plunge to landing in frigid Kazakhstan early Thursday, setting a new record for the longest single flight by a female.
Christina Koch, veteran of six spacewalks outside the International Space Station — including the first all-female excursion — will join a Russian commander and an Italian flight engineer for a fiery plunge back to Earth early Thursday, setting a new world record for the longest single flight by a female astronaut.
During a fourth spacewalk Saturday to wrap up repairs of the coolant system in a $2 billion cosmic ray detector, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and Drew Morgan discovered a leak in one of eight coolant lines that were spliced into a new pump module during three earlier excursions. But Parmitano was able to tighten a fitting on the line and the astronauts were able to complete the repair work, setting the stage for the instrument to resume science operations.
It took NASA more than 50 years to stage its first all-female spacewalk last October. It took three months before the second on Jan. 15 and just five days more for the third on Monday, a successful six-hour 58-minute excursion to finish installing a set of new solar array batteries aboard the International Space Station.